Mozambique Under-23 . . . . . . . 0
Zimbabwe Under-23 . . . . . . . . . . 0
ZIMBABWE’S Young Warriors kept alive their hopes of qualifying for the African Cup of Nations when they soaked the Mozambican pressure and came out of Estodio de Zimpeto in Maputo unscathed yesterday.
The Young Warriors, who had a bye in the opening round, got their campaign underway in Maputo where they held their hosts in their backyard.
The result left coach Tonderai Ndiraya a satisfied man ahead of Tuesday’s return leg at the National Sports Stadium.
“It was, overall, a good performance by the players. A good show to earn a point in a tough match.
“Mozambique has a good team and they were physically better than our boys and admittedly they controlled the match, but failed to create reasonable scoring chances.
“The boys stood firm and showed great potential and should be applauded for gallantly earning a point which puts the team in a good position to finish the job at home,’’ Ndiraya said.
Team manager Charles Mukaronda was also left a happy man and singled out four players for “outstanding’’ performances.
Although they could not get an away goal that could have put them in a better position ahead of the second leg on Tuesday, the Young Warriors management are still confident they can get a win in Harare.
“We played to a 0-0 draw away from home. Martin Mapisa, the goalkeeper, Shadreck Nyahwa and Seth Patrick played a blinder, with the latter coming from the bench to replace Anelka Chivandire, who had run out of steam,’’ said Mukaronda.
“We have a return leg this coming Tuesday which we should win.”
The winner between Zimbabwe and Mozambique will play either South Africa or Angola in the final qualifier to determine who progresses to the tournament in Egypt in November.